New York City is the greatest melting pot of food in the world. Whether you want brunch, dinner, dessert or Italian, Chinese or American, you can find it in New York. If you want to add some sort of entertainment, there are shows offering everything from magic to singing performances for you to enjoy while you eat. No matter what you’re in the mood for, they have it.

NYC also has some of the most iconic and most famously known restaurants in the world. And because some companies are so famous in New York, they have started offering food tours. My mother booked our cupcake tour through Best Tours which also offers pizza tours, wine tours, cupcake tours and more. All being cupcake lovers, my mother, sister, two cousins, and I all got our appetites up and got ready to stuff our faces with cupcakes.

First, we were introduced to our very quirky tour guide. She, like us, has a love for cupcakes and was excited to tell us about New York’s cupcake history and share some sweet treats with us.

After introducing herself we started walking to our first stop. On our way to the first stop, the tour guide briefly stopped at Crumbs Bake Shop. Crumbs is one of New York’s most famous cupcake bakeries. Unfortunately, after gaining popularity this bakery ran into some problems and almost had to shut its doors until Fischer Enterprises stepped in to help the business out. They were not only able to stay open, but they are also now slowly opening new locations.

Unfortunately, this bakery was not a taste test stop on the tour, but was an honorable mention that our tour guide wanted to show us. Knowing the history of Crumbs, I was disappointed that we would not be able to taste their cupcakes. Ultimately I was pretty disappointed and confused as to why we even stopped there when it was technically not a part of the tour.

First Stop: Baked by Melissa

cream cheese, blueberry, cream, cheese, chocolate
Cassidy Rizza

We continued on to Baked by Melissa, just down the road, for our first actual tour stop. Baked by Melissa was founded by Melissa Ben-Ishay in 2008 after she had lost her job. She decided to open her bakery and shortly rose to success with her bite-size cupcakes.

Baked by Melissa is known for their signature Tie Dye Cupcake and they also work with their customers to customize cupcakes for any occasion. They also have a different featured flavor cupcake each month. The month of November was the Double Cookie Cupcake and that's what our tour got to try.

This cupcake had the perfect frosting-to-cake ratio, and even had a little piece of Oreo and cookie dough on top. I'll disclose now that this was by far my favorite cupcake. The flavor was exactly what I would expect from a Double Cookie Cupcake. The cake was moist, but did not taste under-cooked. I just wish the cupcake was double the size along with double the cookie.

Second Stop: Amorino

ice, cream, ice cream, chocolate, chocolate ice cream, cookie
Jordan Helms

After devouring this petite cupcake we headed to our next stop. This stop would not be a cupcake bakery, which I found very strange to be honest. Instead we would be an artisanal gelato shop called Amorino.

Amorino was founded in 2002 in Paris by two childhood friends. New York was the first city in the United States to have an Amorino and because of its natural ingredients and amazing taste, the shop soon popped up in other American cities. Amorino is known mainly for making their gelato made with only natural ingredients which enhances the flavors, making them taste exactly like the fruit or flavor they are emulating.

The flavor we tried was mango, which I was thrilled about, not being a lover of fruit. The mango gelato tasted exactly like a mango. There was no weird after taste and it did not taste like it had added sugars or preservatives. It tasted just the way a mango should. I will definitely be going back to Amorino to get a cone, which they shape to look like a flower make totally picture worthy. But, I was still craving more cupcakes on this cupcake tour and so we moved on.

Third Stop: Molly's

wine, beer
Cassidy Rizza

We made our way onward and stopped at Molly’s. This establishment was founded by Johnny Nicolaides who named it after a favorite teacher of his, Molly. The building was painted yellow on the outside like a pencil and inside there were four swings as seats. We were shortly told after that every sale made has a portion of the money go to an education charity, which changes to reach all aspects of education. Molly’s also had a long list of accomplishments including winning the finale of Cupcake Wars.

At Molly's you can either buy one of their pre-made cupcakes in a range of flavors or to build your own cupcake. Being part of the tour we were all able to make our own cupcake, picking one of four cake flavors and one of four frosting flavors. We were then allowed to top our cupcake at the sprinkle bar which consisted or four different kinds of sprinkles.

I chose to have a vanilla cake with brown butter frosting. This cupcake was the large cupcake we all grew up with. The cake was almost too moist and felt somewhat under-cooked, and there was way too much frosting, which was super sweet as well. Although this was not my favorite cupcake, this was my favorite shop because of the atmosphere and the charity work they did. After finishing our cupcakes we headed off to the next stop.

Fourth Stop: Bisous, ciao

macaron, macaroon, cream, chocolate
Cassidy Rizza

Excited from our last cupcake stop, we walked quickly toward the next. I was excited after eating my cupcake at Molly's and was ready for another cupcake to compare to the last two. However, we were brought to a macaron shop.

Yes, I spelled that correctly. A macaron is a small cake meringue-based cake containing almond meal and shaped with a smooth domed top. A macaroon is a soft cookie that looks more like a volcano.

Bisous, ciao was the name of this macaron establishment. They were founded by a world traveler, Tania, who settled in New York and opened her first store. The macarons at Bisous, ciao are all gluten-free.

We got to taste Gianduja which was a mix of hazelnut and milk chocolate. I am not the biggest fan of hazelnut so I was not a huge fan of the macaron, however, I did enjoy the flavor not being overly sweet and the macaron was very well made. But again, I found myself craving another cupcake.

Fifth (and Final) Stop: Magnolia Bakery

beer, wine, pizza
Cassidy Rizza

We made our way to New York City’s very famous Magnolia Bakery. Magnolia was founded in 1996 and only employed threee people for all the positions in the store until they realized the needed to expand. Their popularity was boosted by their feature on Sex and the City and, more specifically, their red velvet cupcake blew up.

We were fortunate enough to get a taste of this cupcake and it was perfectly baked but had just a little too much icing for my liking. However, the taste of this cupcake was amazing and took second place in my books on the cupcake tour.


Reflecting back on the tour, I was underwhelmed. For a cupcake tour we did not have a lot of cupcakes. Knowing cupcakes have become incredibly popular, I was surprised the tour was not able to bring us to more cupcake shops specifically.

I also was not thoroughly impressed with the flavor of the cupcakes. I was looking for something out of the ordinary, and although I got that with the Double Cookie cupcake, I was left wanting something so much more.

The size of the cupcakes was also super disappointing. I wanted roll my way back to the car stuffed with cupcakes, but instead we stopped for pizza after to get our fill.

However, I loved learning about the history of every shop we went to. I definitely have plans to go back to the shops and try out other popular flavors and get even more of a cupcake fill.

Would I suggest going on the tour? No. You can get the history sometimes from pamphlets, or from the marvelous internet.

What I will suggest is creating your own personalized tour. It takes no time to research where the tour goes or where other tours go as well. So then you can create your own tour, either adding more cupcake shops and making it strictly cupcakes or making it a general dessert tour instead. You’ll also avoid a large group that you’ll have to wait for at stops. That being said, I definitely suggest going into New York and making a day out of trying any restaurant with any type of meal, cuisine, or combination of food. Because if you haven’t eaten in New York City, you have not eaten.